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2017 †N5-6(146-147)
The Week of Culture was first held at the Avaza National Tourism Zone in 2013. Since then, it has been observed in rotation year by year in all the provinces of Turkmenistan, presenting the historical and cultural heritage of the regions in all their diversity. This annual action demonstrates the colorful palette of modern Turkmen culture, reflecting all kinds of national art - opera and musical-song, cinema and theater, fine and decorative and applied, literature and folk art.
This year, it was Ashgabat's turn to host the Week of Culture. Being the center of spiritual life of the country, Ashgabat for several days united under one roof the art envoys from all the regions of Turkmenistan. Among the delegates that came to participate in the Week of Culture were famous theater actors, pop and folk performers, museum and library specialists, artists and poets, professional ensembles and popular folklore and ethnographic groups.
The opening ceremony of the Week of Culture 2017 took place at the Palace of Mukams of the State Cultural Center. It brought together members of the government, heads and representatives of the Ministry of Culture and its subordinate organizations, the institutes of the Academy of Sciences and art universities of the country, the public and the mass media, cultural and art workers, student youth.
They all attended a cheerful concert of the masters of arts and popular art groups of the country. According to the tradition, artists performed their premiere numbers on the occasion of their professional holiday. The concert program included folk and modern melodies and songs, musical classics, choreographic and folklore compositions. Many genres, manners and styles are typical for individual regions of the country, and together they constitute a rich palette of national culture.
On the same day, the Palace of Mukams hosted a concert of classical music by the State Symphony Orchestra.
The topical issues related to the further study and popularization of the national historical and cultural heritage were put on the agenda of the scientific and practical conference held at the Museum of Fine Arts. Archaeologists, restorers, museum specialists, artists, art historians, scientists, teachers and students of art schools and journalists participated in the conference.
The conference heard the reports on the results of archaeological excavations conducted in different regions of the country. Findings made during the spring season of excavations were presented at the conference, including items from the medieval settlement of Dandanakan in the territory of Mary province. The most surprising and unexpected discovery was a small faience statue of a dog that conveys with great realism the native qualities of Turkmen Alabai. This exhibit took the central place in the new exposition of archaeological finds.
As part of the Week of Culture, feature film "Seyis" was screened at "Ashgabat" cinema center. Before the screening, the filmmakers told the audience about the process of creation of the film that narrates about the traditions of Akhal-Teke horse breeding, as well as mentoring and relationships between the older and younger generations. The film screenings continued with film "Serkhet" (Border) at "Watan" cinema and concert hall. It was preceded by the meeting of the film directors and cast with cinema lovers.
The topic of continuity of history, people's memory, spiritual unity of generations found reflection in the theater play "Dwlet Guy" at the Main Drama Theater in Ashgabat. The play is based on the novel with the same name by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which invariably gathers full houses. Reflections on the destinies of the world that should be valued and cherished are one of the central lines of the novel and the play. Narrating about high dignity and humanity, kindness and love, everlasting moral values, the play conveys a huge spiritual message, a strong life-affirming charge that reach the very depths of the soul.
The Museum of Fine Arts hosted an exhibition of works of fine, decorative and applied arts. It featured the museum's exhibits, as well as exhibits from the regional museums of history, such as paintings, jewelry, sculptures and ceramics, samples of national clothes, carpets, tapestries.
According to the established tradition, the new production by the National Musical-Drama Theater named after Magtymguly was timed to coincide with the Day of Culture and Art Workers, established on 27 June 2008, which is widely celebrated in Turkmenistan. This day in the history of national art is marked as the date of revival of Turkmen opera.
Unlike all previous opera performances, opera "Ruhubelentler" is based on the modern, almost documentary theme, namely the preparations for the Asian Games 2017. The opera is about present life of youth, including students and sportsmen. A vigorous and life-affirming musical overture sets the tone for the whole opera, glorifying patriotism, talent and inspiration of our people as the peacemaker and creator. The dynamism of the opera action is conveyed in the modern rhythms that reflect the country's energetic preparation for the major sport forum. Sport dances and songs, dedications to the city of love - the white marble Turkmen capital - are organically intertwined in the opera.
The capacity of the spacious stage is used greatly in the musical drama of the new play. The opera is full of the mass choral and choreographic episodes. The original music is energetic and sometimes close to national folklore by intonation, and it carries a number of memorable expressive characteristics. The opera culminates in the scene of mass celebration, permeated with the life-affirming power. It concludes with the final song "We are ready! We are ready, Asian Games!"
The Pushkin State Russian Drama Theater contributed to the Week of Culture by performing comedy play "Fake Groom" by Turkish classic Reshet Nuri Gyuntekin. The premiere performance marked the completion of the theater's 90th season.
On the Day of Culture and Arts Workers, a big concert was given in Ashgabat as the final event of the Week of Culture. The concert program included national tunes, lyrical vocal compositions from the national poetic and musical classics. The folklore compositions presenting the original festive customs organically fitted in the concert program.
The Week of Culture 2017 was held in the Year of Health and Inspiration and the final phase of preparations for the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. It reflected the high spirit of the Turkmen society, gave new dynamics and a powerful impetus to the further development of the national culture and professional growth of the workers of culture.
The large-scale action saw the participation of both famous performers, popular folklore ethnographic and dance ensembles and musicians, singers, directors, artists, poets and prose writers who just started their way in the art. Experience and mastership organically combined with enthusiasm of the youth, creating an unforgettable atmosphere of the great festival. Each day of the Week of Culture was full of impressive events reflecting the achievements and great potential of national art. The events of the Week of Culture inherently combined the traditions and modern components of culture and carried a huge charge of positive emotions.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005